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TO   THE   LIGHTHOUSE

the spell was broken. Mr. Ramsay felt free
now to laugh out loud at Hume, who had stuck
in a bog and an old woman rescued him on
condition he said the Lord's Prayer, and chuckling
to himself he strolled off to his study. Mrs.
Ramsay, bringing Prue back into the alliance of
family life again, from which she had escaped,
throwing catches, asked,

" Did Nancy go with them? "

(Certainly, Nancy had gone with them, since
Minta Doyle had asked it with her dumb look,
holding out her hand, as Nancy made off, after
lunch, to her attic, to escape the horror of family
life. She supposed she must go then. She did
not want to go. She did not want to be drawn
into it all. For as they walked along the road to
the cliff Minta kept on taking her hand. Then
she would let it go. Then she would take it
again. What was it she wanted? Nancy asked
herself. There was something, of course, that
people wanted; for when Minta took her hand
and held it, Nancy, reluctantly, saw the whole
world spread out beneath her, as if it were Con-
stantinople seen through a mist, and then, however
heavy-eyed one might be, one must needs ask, " Is
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